T H E  A M P  D I A R Y

The AMP diaries:

Tuesday 16 May, 2000.

I'm sitting on the sofa as I type this on my little i-book. I spend much of my life here, writing and playing Cat Buckaroo.

I've just enjoyed an exeptional game, actually. I managed to balance a small photograph album, a copy of Billy Childish's Notebooks Of A Naked Youth, a zine called The Wussy Boy Chronicles, a 1973 edition of Nicholas Saunders' Alternative London Survival Guide for Strangers and a large glass bottle of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion on my cat's prone form. I was just working out if I could balance a Walkman on there too, but she saw it coming and shifted, sending the pile tumbling back into the depths of the sofa.

It's 3.41pm and I've just been for coffee with Frances. She's not a lazy freelancer like me but she only works round the corner, so we often have lunch together. Today we went to Coffee@Brick Lane - surely the worst name for a coffee shop ever. I mean, how many pseudo-cool signifiers can we try and slip into a sentence at one time? It'd be like saying to people 'Oh hi, I'm AMP and I'm an internet content producer who lives in a live/work space in Shoreditch.' I mean, who would say that? Apart from me, if I was honest rather than a big fat liar.

And I'm not going to be a big fat liar any more. I've decided I've been being too coy in this diary bit. Although American style 'confessional' zines do not come naturally to the English (witness the high amount of 'personalzines' produced over there compared to over here), nonetheless I feel I should accept the parameters of my chosen form - the online journal - instead of needlessly fighting them. Basically, shit or get off the pot, Miss AMP. Either I do a proper diary - which means telling you (whoever 'you' are) more about my life, or I don't. None of this half-assed shyness; no more pseudonyms; no more lies. Or only interesting ones, anyway.

I just got up and got a glass of water and put on a Cat Power CD. In the other corner of the room my boyfriend is typing away on his Macintosh G3. I can just see his hands moving and hear him clicking the mouse and the keys. He's singing along to Cat Power - nope, now he's whistling. He's redesigning the AMP website right now. He's a lazy freelancer too: he does design for people like Film Four and the BFI. I work for Excite; I'm the writer - sorry, 'content producer' - on a website for teenage girls. It's my first proper job. I got it by magic, by fluke - Just 17 wrote a tiny thing about this very website and my boss saw it and emailed me and hired me. I love the work. I write quizzes and polls and nice or naff lists. I read teen magazines and call it 'research'. I stick glow-in-the-dark stickers all over my writing notebook and call it 'getting in character.' I never believed there could be such a thing as a proper job you actually liked. Now advertisments for 'my' teen girl website are in all the magazines I always dreamt I'd write for: Just 17, Minx, Smash Hits...it makes me feel proud and awed. I've torn some of the adverts out and stuck them on my wall, and I look at them and think 'I made that!' (Sorry, that bit was censored for being too boring.)

It's sunny today: I can hear cars in the street outside and the man who runs the furniture shop opposite laughing.

Here is a drawing of me. I am travelling on the tube, writing in my notebook, thinking about boys.
On the tube.
I don't actually look much like this. I do have red hair, though, and a red coat.

Here's my boyfriend, Jake. I drew this while we were on holiday in Amsterdam. We were in a trendy bar and everyone was staring at us because we weren't cool enough.
Cute, huh?
He looks cute, huh? (Except his right hand, which I've made look a bit deformed. It isn't deformed in real life, honest. Not that I'd like him any less, obv. Actually sometimes we lie around and ask each other things like 'OK, if I was in a terrible accident and I lost all my arms and all my legs and I was basically just a head and a torso... would you still love me? Yes? What if I was just a head? Ok, what if I was just, like, an eyeball?') I was trying to do a felt-pen drawing every day, but I did a shite one of Frances and haven't done one since.

Anyway, the best thing about this job is that it takes up only about 20-30 hours a week, and I can do it from home, which means more time for my true love: AMP Minizine! Course, you might not think it's my true love: you might think, given my productivity rates (no new print issue since mid-February, fact fans!) that it was just a kind of creepy, slightly embarrassing ex. Aha! You don't know, you see, what's been going on behind the scenes: all kinds of sweaty embraces, all kinds of hard work, all kinds of ground-laying. Yup, AMP's gonna take over the world. AMP's gonna replace all the magazines I just mentioned up above. One day we'll be huge, and I'll employ all my friends and lots of cool fat drunk girl journos, and everything'll be wonderful and there'll be no more eating disorders and no more corporate capitalism and no more, well, no more nothing bad, ever. And until then...See you, same time, same place, tomorrow? Hope so....



PS. Fuck, I sound like an American, don't I? I'm not: honest, swear to God. I was only out there a month! They haven't got me, really. I'm not like them! I'm not I'm not I'm not I'm....

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